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Director Koratala Siva’s Acharya starring Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan, is an outdated story that talks about dharma, illegal mining and the importance of our roots. The father-son duo tried their best to keep things interesting in Acharya.
A lot of expectations were riding on director Koratala Siva’s Acharya, which brought together father-son duo Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan. In fact, it became a calling card for Acharya. Now that it hit the theatres, did Acharya live up to the hype? Sadly, the answer would be a big NO.
Dharmasthali, Siddhavanam and Padaghattam are three villages which are interlinked by values and faith systems. However, the temple town of Dharmasthali is suffering at the hands of Basava (Sonu Sood). Because of his tyrannical rule, the people of Padaghattam, who are known for their Ayurvedic way of living, do not visit Dharmasthali as often as they would. It is now in the hands of Acharya (Chiranjeevi) to free Dharmasthali and Padaghattam from Basava and other villains. How Sidha is (Ram Charan) connected to Padaghattam and what happens to him forms the rest of the story.
It is safe to say that Acharya is Koratala Siva’s weakest work till date. Though he is only four films old, he had created a niche for himself with his ability to churn out interesting screenplays. However, that was the major drawback of Acharya. The story of Acharya is as old as the hills and the screenplay deserves fresh elements. The film lacked high points, which could have made the proceedings interesting.
Chiranjeevi gets a lackluster introduction and everything goes for a toss as the story progresses. There are only a handful of moments which made the audience sit up and cheer for our heroes. Be it the Banjara song in the second half or Ram Charan’s introduction scene, we can count the scenes which made people go wow. The rest of the story is so bland that you start to question whether you came to a Koratala Siva film or booked tickets for a different flick.
Chiranjeevi’s Acharya and Ram Charan’s Siddha are fighting for a cause. Siddha wants Acharya to carry on with the mission even if something happens to him. Now, this is a perfect setup for emotionally-charged sequences. However, you feel nothing, even during an important moment before the climax. There are no memorable mass moments that could have elevated this done-to-death story.
Chiranjeevi’s aura and his energy brought life to his character Acharya. Similarly, Ram Charan as Siddha is a revelation to watch. Their combination sequences, especially the scene in which they make fun of the villains while killing them, were interesting to watch. However, there’s only so much that Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan can do to salvage this mess.
Pooja Hegde as Neelambari came as a breath of fresh air and her chemistry with Ram Charan was refreshing to watch. Sonu Sood, Jisshu Sengupta, Tanikella Bharani and the supporting cast delivered decent performances.
Mani Sharma’s songs were peppy, but the background score did not enhance any scene. Cinematographer Tirru and editor Naveen Nooli’s work complemented the film well.
Acharya could have been a full-fledged mass masala entertainer. But, the lack of inventiveness turned out to be a big letdown.
Sonu had earlier mentioned that he has been getting different roles post-pandemic as his image has changed. His philanthropic activities during the lockdown have transformed the actor, who used to earlier play the villain.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, Sonu said, “I feel it is very difficult to see me (in a negative role). All the producers, directors and writers have spoken about how they cannot see me or imagine me in a negative role anymore. I remember I started shooting for two films before Covid-19, including Acharya. And they had to rework a little bit on a few scenes.”
He further said, “Like in the action sequences, Chiranjeevi sir was not sure if hitting me will be accepted by people. So yes, people are thinking a lot about it. Even the scripts that are coming my way are all positive roles. So, there is a second-innings on its way.”
Acharya is about a middle-aged Naxalite-turned-social reformer who launches a fight against the Endowments Department over misappropriation and embezzlement of temple funds and donations. The film also featured a cameo from Kajal Aggarwal but it was edited out as director Siva felt felt he wasn’t doing justice to a heroine of her stature
This will be the first time Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan will be seen together in full-length roles. Chiranjeevi had played a cameo in Ram Charan’s Telugu film Bruce Lee: The Fighter a few years ago.